This is "No Application Fee."
Boys, tell us more about how you started No Application Fee.
No Application Fee was formed in 2007 in our hometown of El Paso, Texas. Gil and I met in middle school and music immediately became our lives. Come freshman year in high school, No Application Fee was our official band name. We pretty much started like anyone else: shitty equipment and our parent's garages.
We played a lot in high school, mostly jamming at each other's houses, but we played a bunch of quinceañeras and stuff.
When we graduated in 2011, we both went to the University of Texas at El Paso, where we eventually dropped out.
That's when we started getting our name out in the streets of Chuco. I don't think most of the bars and venues we played back then even exist anymore.
Then we scored a residency at a BYOB hookah lounge and became the house band on Thursday's and Saturdays in 2012-2013. The parties there were wild! That's when we for sure knew we had something special.
Since we were young, Gil and I always had the dream to move to California one day. In summer 2013, we loaded up my van, grabbed Gil's dog, my cat, the maybe $200 we had and moved to LA.
As you can imagine, it was a bitch to get our feet on the ground. We got evicted from our first apartment in Long Beach, almost immediately, then found a house in Compton to rent and have been here for 7 years now. In 2017, we picked up our current drummer, Snail, and haven't looked back.
Now, it's 2020 and we got a great following in our area, some bad ass music videos, and doing Q&A's for different magazines and got everyone reaching out to us showing love.
Obviously, there's so much crazy shit in between I didn't include, but it's nuts to think that middle school Gil and Andy have stuck it out for 13 years and are about to blow up.
What would you say is the most difficult aspect about launching a band?
It would be leaving home, putting all your eggs in one basket, and not quitting no-matter-fucking-what. When we moved into our house in Compton, there was no refrigerator, no stove, sometimes no electricity, no running water, nothing.
I remember we lived out of a fucking ice chest for too long. For the first few years, it was just sandwiches, ramen noodles and water.
And it's not like there were jobs waiting for us the moment we touched down, so it was rough. Shit. Rough is an understatement.
I use to be that guy walking into the dispensary with $4 like, "What can you do for me bro? This is all I got."
Gil and Tara would wait till I got home to smoke, because we only had enough weed to make one bowl and it had to count. Shit, Tara and I use to shotgun every hit so we could make the bowl last longer.
So, the most difficult part of launching a successful band? Giving up everything to try and make something out of nothing.
What would you say separates No Application Fee's sound from the others?
Our sound is original. Obviously, you can hear our influences in our sound, because any great artist or band that influenced a generation lives in everyone's music. But, we don't sound generic.
It's actually created lots of problems for us. When we first got to LA, the only shows I could find were those ghetto South Central house shows. The problem was, we didn't sound like the kind of bands that were in that scene.
So we got met with a lot of tension and fucked up situations because we sounded like we weren't from here and they could tell and didn't like it.
And of course, that's not everyone! There were people who saw through the typicalness of that scene and knew, but the masses did not fuck with us at first.
Even now, it's hard to fit in a bill. Either we're not 'punk' enough, not 'ska' enough, not 'reggae' enough, or too 'hip-hop'.
So that originality with our band's sound, is the best part about us. We stick out everywhere we go, and as our name is getting bigger, it's definitely an advantage.
Also, our stage presence is a key factor. Everyone says you can tell how long Gil and I have been best friends because we flow so well together on stage. And I'd like to think we're kind of funny.
Is there anything new or upcoming we can expect from No Application Fee?
Well, things got a little weird with this 'Stay Home' shit. We should be in Texas playing some shows right now, actually. We're taking our first shot at a booking agent, so they're paid and gonna help us get to San Francisco, San Diego, and Phoenix.
So, everyone should expect to start seeing us tour all over the place and show everyone what we got. Then after that, it's into the studio to record another album.
I'm sure you guys know better than anyone, it's a slower process when you're doing everything yourselves.
Follow No Application Fee:
I'm super active on our Instagram. We have a Twitter and Facebook, but I need to put in some work on those. Our YouTube channel is fairly new, but getting lots of love.